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Chata Maria Spikes to Grace Founders' Day Convocation as Guest Speaker

Posted on Oct 26, 2023


[FORT VALLEY, GEORGIA] – Fort Valley State University (FVSU) is pleased to announce Chata Maria Spikes as the distinguished speaker for this year's Founders' Day celebration, scheduled to take place on November 2. This annual event commemorates the vision and dedication of our institution's founders and serves as a momentous occasion to celebrate our rich history and ongoing commitment to our mission.

Spikes serves as the Director of Public Affairs for the Atlanta Police Department, Atlanta City Detention Center, and as the public safety spokesperson for Atlanta's Mayor Andre Dickens. She is a Summa Cum Laude graduate of Fort Valley State University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communications with a concentration in Radio/TV Broadcast. Her academic pursuits didn't end there, as she furthered her education with a Masters of Organizational Leadership and Communication from Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York.

Her remarkable career spans more than 25 years in the media industry, with notable roles at prestigious organizations such as Fox News Channel, ABC, CBS, and CNN. Spikes’ dynamic presence both on and off-camera has left an indelible mark on the field of journalism.

In 2007, she transitioned to academia, serving as an assistant professor of media studies at FVSU. Her commitment to educating future journalists has left an enduring impact, nurturing the next generation of storytellers.

Spikes contributions extend beyond the media landscape. She has served in various key positions, including her role as deputy director of public affairs for the Atlanta Police Department and as the first director of communications and external affairs for the City of South Fulton, Georgia.

Notably, in December 2017, she took a leap of faith to dedicate herself to growing her own venture, Spiked Communications, LLC. Her expertise has proven indispensable, particularly during the challenges of the civil unrest and the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, when she was asked by former police Chief Rodney Bryant to join his executive command team.

Spikes’ Chata's accolades are numerous and well-deserved. She is a member of Leadership Georgia Class of 2011 and was featured on the cover of Georgia Trend magazine's 40 under 40 - Georgia's Best and Brightest edition. Her recognitions also include Who's Who in Black Atlanta, as well as her participation in the Education Policy Fellowship Program.

As we look forward to this year's Founders' Day Convocation, we are honored to have Chata Maria Spikes share her inspiring journey and invaluable insights with us. Chata's life motto, "I'm Serious about what I do... because what I do is Serious," resonates deeply with the values and spirit of Fort Valley State University's students, faculty, staff, and alumni, making her the perfect choice to grace this momentous occasion.

 

About Fort Valley State University

Fort Valley State University is a talent incubator for students who believe in their brilliance. Located in the heart of Georgia, FVSU combines the personal attention and family feel of a small, private college with the resources and research found at large public universities. Located on the second-largest acreage of any Georgia university, it is the only university in the world which at once is a University System of Georgia institution, a historically black university, and an 1890 land-grant institution, with a directive to use knowledge to improve the lives of students and non-students alike. Historically referred to as “the light in the valley,” FVSU’s legacy is built upon the belief that every human being is entitled to limitless learning and the benefits of knowledge. Leveraging the reputation for excellence FVSU has built since 1895, the university is preparing students to embrace their genius as future global leaders and enabling discovery which will make real that which is only now imagined. That’s why our motto and tagline is “Empower the Possible.”


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